• Email TVNZ to ask them to replace Mike Hosking
    Over 80,000 of us signed one of two simultaneous petitions in the last week when we heard Mike Hosking would be the moderator for the upcoming election debates.[1] Mike Hosking is over-opinionated, biased, polarising and unfit to be the moderator of the Election Debates. This election event is too important to be left to TV personalities with well-known political views. When asked by media whether TVNZ would consider replacing Hosking, John Gillespie told Mediawatch no. "I'm not prepared to reconsider at the moment. I'll keep an open mind and look at what the numbers are saying, but more than a million people tuned in to our election coverage last time. I'd expect that to be similar or maybe increase so I'd weigh any number against a million," he said.[2] I believe if John knew the depth of our feelings and outrage that TVNZ is treating the Election Debate so casually he may be more open to reconsidering. TV ratings are not the aim for the 2017 Election Debates - the quality of debate, sharing of ideas, and openness to solutions is what's important. I read many of your comments on my petition and I know you’re as outraged as I am - but to effect change, TVNZ needs to know that too. The nationally televised election debates are widely viewed and have the potential to engage and influence a lot of voters. It is vital that media surrounding the election and debates is unbiased, and offers parties and their candidates fair opportunities to promote their policies. Email John Gillespie, Head of News at TVNZ now to let him know you won’t be watching the Debates as long as Hosking is moderator, and encouraging others not to also. You can also post a comment on TVNZ’s Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/TVOneNZ/ 1 - https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/replace-mike-hosking-as-election-debate-presenter / https://www.change.org/p/tvnz-remove-mike-hosking-as-presenter-for-2017-election-debates 2 - Mediawatch http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/201854325/mike-in-the-middle-of-debates
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    Created by Erica Finnie Picture
  • Replace Mike Hosking as Election Debate Presenter
    It is vital that the nationally broadcasted election debates offer an unbiased opportunity for candidates representing their political parties to debate on policies. Mike Hosking's socially irresponsible style of presenting has led to public campaigns for his removal, notably his comments on Andrew Judd in 2016. Hosking is an inappropriate choice to present the election debates in a fair, unbiased manner.
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  • We demand a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the NZ Family Courts
    *All signed letters will be delivered to Parliament this week, so please share to your social media to help spread the word!* In 2016, over 60,000 cases went through the Family Courts, and of those, over 6,800 children were involved in cases initiated under the Domestic Violence Act.[2] After separating from abusive partners, we expect that the Family Court should provide survivors of violence against women with protection and safety, for them and their children. The experiences of our community however, reveal that this is very rarely the case, and instead the Family Court is unjustly removing children from their protective mothers, and handing them over or even forcing them back into the abusive environments that they were removed from. In May this year, the Backbone Collective undertook a survey of almost 500 women who had been involved in the Family Court system post-separation. The survey report found that their experiences of violence and abuse were not believed, were minimized, their evidence was struck out, they were blamed for the violence and abuse, silenced, or their experiences were never responded to.[3] We believe these findings are but a micro-reflection of a rising voice of thousands who are currently suffering in fear, traumatised by longterm abuse that has been sanctioned by the Family Court. For many years, complaints have been made appealing Family Court decisions and telling those in authority of the harm that the Family Court is doing. They have not listened or taken action to change what is happening. However in time, history will reveal the blood on the hands of all those who participated in these harmful Family Court practices, or who stood by passively while our children suffered this state sanctioned abuse. Not only is it your professional duty to expose and address the systemic failings of the Family Court, it is your moral and ethical duty to provide a voice to victims and to ensure a robust framework moving forward by which to protect our children of Aotearoa. We are unified in our view that the harm being done by the Family Court is the result of the interpretation, implementation of the current laws. These problems will not be fixed by legislative changes, but only by an Inquiry into the entire Family Court system. There is enough evidence before you to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Family Court immediately. As a community, we are distressed, grieving and fearful for the safety and lives of our loved ones who have been and are being abused by the current system. We anticipate many further social issues will result as a direct consequence of the harmful operation of the current Family Court System and urge you to take action immediately in order to prevent further abuse, crime, and tragedy in the lives of our children! 1 - Backbone Collective is a national coalition of survivors of Violence Against Women in Aotearoa New Zealand - https://www.backbone.org.nz 2 - NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse Data June 2017 - https://nzfvc.org.nz/sites/nzfvc.org.nz/files/DS3-Children-and-Youth-2017.pdf 3 - Backbone Collective 2017 reports can be viewed at https://www.backbone.org.nz/latest-activity/ 4 - Image is by Bev Short. The women in black veils represent all those women who have experienced violence and abuse but who are afraid to show their faces for fear of being punished by the Family Court for speaking out about how the system is failing to keep them and their children safe. The black veils also represent the hundred or more women who are murdered by their (ex) partners every 10 years in New Zealand. Many of the women who came together to participate in this photograph have their own story to tell; some are survivors, others are friends or family off survivors and some work on the front line with victims. Two of the women participated in memory of their loved ones who had been murdered – in one instance an Auntie and in the other a daughter – both of whom had been brutally murdered by their partners.
    3,185 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Community In Action
  • Let Us Finish! Remove student loan cap for future doctors
    UPDATE: Prior to the 2017 Election, we secured promises from the Labour, New Zealand First, Greens, and ACT parties, that they intended to lift the cap if elected. We now have that new government, with Hon Chris Hipkins as Minister of Education. However, despite these assurances, unfortunately removal of the EFTS cap was not included in Budget 2018. The government has failed to live up to these expectations and we intend to hold them accountable. Hon Chris Hipkins has suggested that lifting the cap is still an intention for the government, but we need to show him that this is URGENT. We are already aware of students having to go to extreme measures, such as fundraising, to pay their fees. The longer the government waits, the more future-doctors we risk losing. Sign our petition to help us help others! Say YES to letting us finish! #LetUsFinish BACKGROUND: In 2017, NZMSA and Te Oranga conducted a survey of New Zealand medical students and identified at least 142 students affected by this cap - many of whom may be prevented from finishing their degrees. Medical degrees are at least six years long, making them the longest programme in New Zealand. Each year, approximately 30% of medical entrants are selected from a pool of applicants who have already completed a previous degree. Most of these graduate students will have used at least three of their allocated 8 EFTS in this process. Without a student loan, students will have to come up with approximately $25,000 per year to fund the remainder of their studies and living costs. Without the support of a guarantor and no source of income, it is almost impossible for students to access a private bank loan. The reality is, without an affluent background to shoulder the enormous cost of completing a medical degree, the EFTS cap negatively impacts students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Graduate students have completed extremely valuable study in their respective fields. These students are essential for the development of an effective and diverse health workforce in order to best address the changing health needs of our communities and health system. The previous Minister of Education Paul Goldsmith stated that he wanted students to complete their study as quickly as possible, yet also encouraged students to take time out from their programmes to save money for fees. This not only delays future doctors from taking their much-needed place in the health workforce, but also is completely out of touch with the realities of working New Zealanders. With the EFTS cap in place, some students will have to save more than $50,000 to afford the remainder of their studies. All this, whilst simultaneously having much of their paycheck deducted to service existing student loans. We know medical graduates tend to repay their loans quickly, however we can’t do this if we can’t finish. By enforcing this cap, the government is undercutting their own investment, negatively impacting our health workforce and the health of New Zealanders. How is this the best use of taxpayer dollars? Answer: It’s not. Every student that is affected by this cap is a missing doctor for New Zealand. These are hard working, dedicated people who are passionate about making a difference and improving the health of all New Zealanders. Without student loan support, we will not be able to work for the betterment of our communities, and our health system will remain overloaded and understaffed. MEDIA: RNZ: Med Students Disappointed by Broken Budget Promises https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/357727/med-students-disappointed-by-broken-budget-promise Stuff: Medical students upset Budget didn't extend student loan cap https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/104055757/medical-students-upset-budget-didnt-extend-student-loan-cap TV3: The Project: https://www.facebook.com/TheProjectNZ/videos/1066642473472405/ Newshub: Medical student debt could cost the health of New Zealanders http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/06/medical-student-debt-could-cost-the-health-of-new-zealanders.html Te Kāea: Māori medical students push loan caps to be lifted http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/national/maori-medical-students-push-loan-caps-be-lifted Women’s Weekly: My dream has a price https://www.pressreader.com/new-zealand/new-zealand-womans-weekly/20180115/281608125837244 Radio NZ: "I'd already need to be a doctor to save for it" https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/344614/i-d-already-need-to-be-a-doctor-to-save-for-it Radio NZ: Med Students face dropping out over loan cap https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/336713/med-students-face-dropping-out-over-loan-cap Stuff: Medical Student forced to turn to Givealittle after hitting student loan borrowing cap https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/99581590/medical-student-forced-to-turn-to-givealittle-after-hitting-student-loan-borrowing-cap
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    Created by Kera Sherwood-O'Regan
  • Stop the 2017 Weapons Expo!
    The Weapons Expo is an annual event for arms companies and the military to buy, sell and lobby for more weapons of war. Sponsors of the Expo include Lockheed Martin, currently the world's largest arms company manufacturing nuclear weapons. Local NZ companies such as MAS Zengrange, who make mortar firing devices, also attend to boost their profits from war. Wellington City Council describes Wellington as the ‘coolest little capital’ and brands the city as being ’absolutely positive’. It also declared itself nuclear free in 1982, two years before NZ officially did. By allowing the Weapons Expo to be held in Wellington, the council is running contrary to any positive image it is trying to create. Further, it is making all its population tacit in supporting militarisation and war. We, the undersigned, do not want the weapons expo to be held in this city and demand that the WCC do not allow any part of this city to be used to support or enable the weapons expo to occur. We also ask that the WCC develop ethical guidelines for the booking of Council owned venues and we ask that these guidelines be promoted with non-council venues. Peace Action Wellington is a grassroots community group working to oppose the weapons expo. We believe that it is not possible to build a peaceful and just world while simultaneously acquiring ever more weapons and doing more planning for war. This petition is an important part of our campaign this year to bring pressure on the government. Join the campaign for peace! More information on the Weapons Expo can be found at http://www.nzdia.co.nz/forum/ 'Profiting from war' - New Zealand's weapons and military-related industry http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1511/pawreport.pdf
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  • Ask Countdown NZ: Ban The Bag
    Woolworths Australia Countdown NZ's parent company is banning single-use plastic bags. [1] New Zealanders use around 1.6 billion single-use plastic bags every year. Plastic bags often end up in our rivers, lakes, beaches and oceans. Plastic bags in the ocean are a huge hazard to marine life. The bags can be swallowed, wrapped around the necks or fins of marine animals. They can be mistaken for food and generally don't belong in the ocean.[2,3] It has recently been revealed plastics were being eaten by the majority of New Zealand fish, and that a third of turtles and seabirds that washed up dead on Kiwi beaches had eaten plastic.[4] There is strong support from local government, the retail sector, and everyday Kiwis to do something.[4] Countdown listened to the Waiheke Island community. It is both plastic bag free and encourages the use of biodegradables.[5] Doesn't the rest of NZ deserve the same? By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish on the ocean. Not using plastic bags is an easy thing for us to do that would make a big difference. We need to Ban The Bag before its too late. Please help! Please take action! Countdown Waiheke Island did it, sign and share the petition asking Countdown NZ to ban the bag. Comment on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/countdown/ Tweet @CountdownNZ #CountdownBanTheBag #BanTheBag Phone the Countdown Customer Care Centre: 0800 40 40 40 email: customerinfo@countdown.co.nz Spread the word however you can #CountdownBanTheBag #BanTheBag 1 - Australian supermarket giant Woolworths to ban plastic bags within 12 months, 14 July 2017 https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/94756897/australian-supermarket-giant-woolworths-to-ban-plastic-bags-within-12-months 2 - Drowning our marine life in a growing sea of plastic, 27 Mar 2017 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11825914 3 - More than 9 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since 1950, and the vast majority of it is still around, 20 July 2017 https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/94924204/Theres-literally-a-tonne-of-plastic-garbage-for-every-person-in-the-world 4 - Plastics were being eaten by the majority of New Zealand fish, 27 July 2017 http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/95119319/17800signaturestrong-petition-calling-for-a-plastic-bag-levy-presented-at-parliament 5 - Countdown Waiheke Island did it, 27 July 2016 http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/82435349/after-15-years-the-wait-is-over-for-new-countdown-waiheke 24 May 2016 http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1605/S00726/countdown-waiheke-is-now-plastic-shopping-bag-free.htm
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  • Coromandel - too precious to mine
    New Talisman Gold Mines has consent to start mining activities on conservation land in the Karangahake Gorge. OceanaGold has permission to drill for gold in the Parakiwai Valley. The Coromandel Ecological Region contains a number of threatened species of flora and fauna, including the world’s most endangered amphibian, the Archey’s Frog. As well as some of Aotearoa New Zealand's most iconic landforms and stunning beaches; it must be protected from the destruction of industrial gold mining. The Karangahake Gorge is listed as one of the top 14 tourist attractions by Tourism New Zealand and for good reason. The area boasts multitudes of walking tracks, swimming holes, running and riding trails and rock climbing amongst the beautiful backdrop of the Karangahake Mountain. The current boundary for Schedule 4, the SH 25, does not reflect or recognise the Coromandel Ecological Region. [1] We need to protect this significant conservation area in perpetuity; to ensure that multinational (or even national) companies cannot just bully or buy their way in. We also say that the communities of this area (and indeed the whole country), must know that their homes are safe. That a mine will not be allowed to destroy their quality of life, either right next door, or right underneath their home. It's not much to ask! Don’t let this special part of the country be ruined for other people’s gold. Help stop the mining, sign and share the petition. “No matter how much gold they find it will not change the fact that Kiwis are being shut out of conservation land, so that a small few can profit,” Karangahake local Susan Durcan. "Compromising this asset to enable one company to profit is not in the best interests on New Zealand. Conserving and maintaining this beautiful area for us, our visitors and future generations is." Augusta Macassey-Pickard, Coromandel Watchdog. “The Karangahake Gorge is one of the most popular DOC sites in New Zealand – what sort of message does it send to overseas visitors about how much we value our natural resources?” Protect Karangahake spokesperson Duncan Shearer Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki is a flax-roots organisation that has stood alongside Coromandel communities for over 30 years to protect this unique area from mining. Please help us save the Coromandel Hauraki! More info: 1 - What is Schedule 4? Schedule 4 (“Sch 4”) means no open cast or underground mining with significant surface expressions. http://www.watchdog.org.nz/info/schedule-4/ Protect Karangahake campaign https://protectkarangahake.org.nz/ News stories Fight for 'sacred mountain' after discovery of significant gold seam https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/18/new-zealand-fight-for-sacred-mountain-after-discovery-of-significant-gold-seam
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    Created by Augusta Macassey-Pickard
  • Amend legislation to prevent workplace bullying in New Zealand
    Latest update from Allan Halse at CultureSafeNZ in Hamilton: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/workplace-bullying-causes-some-kiwis-suffer-mental-health-issues New Zealand has the world’s second highest rate of bullying in the workplace. Statistics suggest that over 350,000 (17.8% of workforce) employees are currently being bullied. [1,2] However currently the laws as they stand make it hard to combat. There is no formal process or jurisdiction to combat workplace bullying behaviours in New Zealand. This means there is no place in New Zealand to take a complaint about workplace bullying. Presently cases are directed to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), however the ERA can't deal with workplace bullying as a health and safety issue. Workplace bullying is a health and safety issue, not an employment issue. This means that cases are almost impossible to win and even if they are won are not settled appropriately. For example even if you win a case you will be ordered to pay the costs of the bully’s legal fees.[3] There needs to be a specific formal jurisdiction set up in the legislation where workplace bullying complaints can be heard as health and safety cases. There also needs to be trained professionals and independent investigators who know what bullying behaviours look like and how these behaviours impact people. They also need to be independent so that the “sham” investigations that employers currently use can be left in the past and all evidence can be presented. Let’s address these problems and get rid of bullying from all our workplaces. This petition will alert Government to our serious concerns, and demand action. References 1 - http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/83618177/new-zealand-has-worlds-second-highest-rate-of-workplace-bullying 2 - ‘Ex morgue worker on bullying claims: 'We've lost everything'’ https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11855415 3 - http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/67597611/former-health-board-employee-must-pay-costs
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  • Choices for our Children - Whanau against Auckland Kindergarten Association changes
    These changes are taking away the choices for our children at kindergarten in favour of maximising government funding. Forcing families to have our small children at kindy for a longer day than a school aged child is not ok. Penalising families for wanting to spend quality family time with our children during the school holidays, and essentially making them pay to spend time with their children is not ok. The current session structure is perfect for little ones beginning their kindy journey in the mornings, who are then able to go home for quiet time or a nap. It is a rite of passage when they can cope with a longer day, adding the afternoon session too. - The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states in Article 3 1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration. - Currently a child can be at kindy for five mornings a week and be fully funded with 20hrs free ECE. - Three days at an Auckland Kindergarten Association kindy using the government's 20 hours free ECE will cost $735 a year after the changes. - How can teachers provide the same quality of early childhood education with 480 less non-contact hours each year? The best choices are not being made for our children by the Auckland Kindergarten Association. Join the Facebook page Stop Auckland Kindergarten Changes Visit saveourkindergartens.co.nz
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    Created by Marnie Wilton
  • Support Healthy Housing in New Zealand
    The home environment we live in plays a huge role in our own health, and the health of our families. Every winter in New Zealand, about 1600 deaths are attributed to people living in cold, damp homes (1). Compared to many other developed countries, New Zealand has much higher rates of people being hospitalised for lung diseases such as asthma (2). Living in cold, damp, mouldy environments places our families at much greater risk of having acute attacks. It is incredibly important that people with such illnesses are not treated just to be sent home to the environment that made them sick. The World Health Organisation recommends that houses should be insulated so that they are at least 18°C, a minimum temperature where lung (respiratory) illnesses are less likely to occur (3). Unfortunately up to a third of New Zealand’s homes do not meet this minimum standard, with the average temperature in poorer households being 13°C (3,4). This issue is therefore impacting on the health of our poorest communities and needs to be addressed by our government. It is also clear that insulating homes well would be much more cost-effective for the government. Programmes such as “Warm Up New Zealand” have shown that the savings associated with subsidising insulation and heaters far outweighs the costs by nearly 4 times (cost-benefit ratio of 3.9) (5). The government currently spends $5.5 billion per year on lung (respiratory) illnesses such as asthma, with much of this being preventable (6). Without a doubt, we strongly believe the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No.2) is a step in the right direction. However there is still much that needs to be done. Together, we can make a difference in ensuring that New Zealand homes are warm and insulated, to improve the health of our children and families. References 1. Nichol R. 1600 deaths attributed to cold houses each winter in New Zealand. The New Zealand Listener. June 2017. http://www.noted.co.nz/currently/social-issues/1600-deaths-attributed-to-cold-houses-each-winter-in-new-zealand/#.WT9lYy9meGk.facebook 2. OECD (2011), Health at a Glance 2011: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing. 3. Auckland Regional Public Health Service. Housing and Health in Auckland. Chapter 6: Cold, Damp and Mould. Pages 25-27. 2005. 4. Howden-Chapman P, Matheson A, Crane J, Viggers H, Cunningham M, Blakely T, et al. Effect of insulating existing houses on health inequality: cluster randomised study in the community. BMJ. 2007;334(7591):460. 5. Howden-Chapman P, Arnold R, Telfar-Barnard L, Preval N, Young C. Cost Benefit Analysis of the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart Programme. 2012. 6. Barnard L, Baker M, Pierse N, Zhang J. The impact of respiratory disease in New Zealand: 2014 update. 2015
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    Created by MSGA New Zealand
  • Pay equity for aged care Nurses
    Recently the government passed an historic pay equity claim for health care assistants and support workers which is being widely celebrated in aged care. It is fantastic to hear that these hard working carers will be paid a liveable wage for the excellent work they do in an important sector of healthcare. However with this pay rise for health care assistants and support workers, the issue surrounding Registered Nurse pay rates in aged care is highlighted. Registered nurses in the aged care sector have long been overlooked, and on average make $5-15 less* than DHB acute care nurses with the same years of experience. The standard rate of pay for health care assistants is now only $1-4 less than an aged care Registered Nurse, despite the level of responsibility we take or experience we have. Within 5 years of the new pay scale plan the health care assistants will begin on a higher rate than many aged care nurses earn even after several years experience. We are the ones delegating the tasks, and addressing complicated health, social and emotional issues that arise from the care of our most vulnerable. We are caring for those with multiple co-morbidities, working without a doctor onsite, making difficult decisions on a day to day basis, using a broad and varied range of knowledge of both acute and chronic care management and end of life care. As we make these decisions, we are liable. Is the level of responsibility we take really only worth an extra dollar or two than a health care assistant? Is my degree really worth so little to the government? Aged care nurses are crucial, but if they are not paid what they are worth, many will continue to leave the sector, and few will enter it. Why become an aged care nurse if you make less than an acute care nurse? Why enter the nursing field if you can be on a higher rate as an HCA without the 3 year degree? Without the critical thinking and knowledge of RNs, the aged care sector will soon fall apart. We need to be encouraging nurses into the sector as it grows, and paying them what they are worth for the complicated and difficult work they do everyday. However with the limited funding available this is an issue our managers cannot afford to address without support from the government. *based on rates at my workplace vs. local DHB
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    Created by Sarah Blackstock
  • Housing Crisis 2017, Fix the Issue!
    As a Year 13 Social Studies assessment we have been reviewing The Social Housing Reform Programme and how it could be improved to help fix the housing crisis in New Zealand! In New Zealand 42,000 (1 out of every 100) kiwis are moving between temporary and insecure housing and are lead to seek night shelters, emergency housing and refuges and it needs to be fixed. We believe that data is needed to be included within the Social Housing Reform Programme, they are only motives so we would like to add in a few policies we would like to encourage. All of these points within the programme are good but we would like to add in some data as goals to achieve within the near future so we can decrease or ultimately end homelessness in New Zealand. We think that instead of only focusing on social housing, we should (as a nation) be focusing on fixing the issue from a broader spectrum. We enjoyed reviewing your policy but believe there is always room for improvement :) Thank you for taking time out of your day to read our petition, http://www.socialhousing.govt.nz (link to the Social Housing Reform Programme) Thanks, Kendall Northcott and Maia Richmond, Paraparaumu College Year 13 Social Studies Students.
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    Created by Maia Richmond